Arsenal 2 v 1 Liverpool: player ratings

Arsenal-v-Liverpool-Arsenal-s-Alex-OxladeChamberlain

Gunners managed to get their revenge against Liverpool for the heavy defeat in Premiership a week earlier. Arsene Wenger’s side is now just two steps away from their first FA Cup Final since 2005 when the Gunners won the competition!

Lukasz Fabianski | 9.0:  Fantastic performance from the Pole who managed to prevent Liverpool from taking an early lead. He denied Sturridge and Suarez on a number of occasions. His stretched-leg save at the beginning of the second half wasn’t just impressive but also the key moment of the match – only a minute after Suarez had been denied by Fabianski we scored our second goal of the game and earned a two-goal-cushion. Only mistake of the game was the one that could have earned Liverpool a penalty. He deserved Sturridge’s help with his shoe-laces at the end – it was a royal performance from Lukasz!

Carl Jenkinson | 6.5: Not the best performance in his career but given that he had to deal with Sterling’s pace, it wasn’t that bad. I had a feeling that our defence is much safer on his side than on Monreal’s.

Per Mertesacker | 7.5: His lack of pace means that we can’t play with a high back-line. When we defend deeper and with a proper shield in the middle of the pitch, BFG is the best commanding central defender out there. If Emirates has been our fortress for some time, BFG is one of the gate-keepers…

Laurent Koscielny | 7.5: …and same goes for the Frenchman. He managed to fix one of his mistakes and it’s no wonder that Suarez failed to score in each of the three games he played against us this season.

Nacho Monreal| 6.0: Had earned a free-kick after which we scored our opener. Most of the dangerous attacks and chances for Liverpool came down his flank and Sterling’s movement caused a lot of problems for him.

Mikel Arteta | 7.0: Looked fresh and showed what we will miss against Bayern. Whenever I see how calm he looks I regret for him not being a member of our 2010-11 team. We wouldn’t have lost a four-goal-cushion at St James Park or two-goal-cushions in both fixtures against Spuds with him in the team.

Mathieu Flamini| 7.0: I was afraid that he would have been sent off again. He got a yellow card in the first half but managed to put on a controlled performance until the end to avoid another long-term-suspension. His bite helped us in the second half when Liverpool threw everything at us in order to complete a come-back.

Mesut Özil | 7.5: Özil’s form is a reason to be optimistic, my dear Gooners. He whipped a cross for Sanogo and sent a wonderful through ball for Chamberlain before our goals. He should have scored one himself and put game in bed at 2:0 but his drive wasn’t good enough. Still, it’s important to have him at his best because he is a true winner.

Lukas Podolski | 6.5: Was pretty invisible in the first half. Then, he showed what a great asset he is to our attack with a right-footed finish. He ruined his performance a bit with an unnecessary foul on Suarez in the box. It should be said that he is our top scorer in the FA Cup with three goals. That means he has scored six goals this season – given his playing time, that’s not such a bad return from Prinz Poldi.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | 8.5: If he had a three-word name consisted of his qualities, it would have been Pace-Energy-Skill. He scored our opener and created the second but it was his energy, determination, pace and skill that Reds couldn’t handle. He was lucky not to give away a penalty though – he did foul Suarez in the box – but also unlucky not to earn Gerrard’s second yellow card.

Yaya Sanogo| 7.0: An impressive debut by the youngster. He has shown pace and fighting spirit already. Our lanky Frenchman reminds me a bit of a raw version of Adebayor except Sanogo hasn’t neither shown nor implied that he might turn out to be a greedy twat.

Substitutes:

Santi Cazorla | 6.0: Should have scored and spared our nerves a bit. Was unlucky not to earn a penalty when Škrtel tried to mutilate his right foot with a hideous challenge.

Kieran Gibbs | 6.0: His performance on the left flank made me think that we might use him AND Monreal against Bayern. It wasn’t a spectacular performance from the Englishman – after all, he wasn’t there to provide fireworks but to shore up the defence – but he might give us width in attack given that both Podolski and Cazorla prefer to drift inside.

Olivier Giroud | N/A: It was a turbulent weekend for the Frenchman. He replaced Sanogo but looked more tired than his young compatriot when Cazorla sent him a pass in space.

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